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Spread collar and cuff links for everyday?

Is it acceptable for a first year associate at a NYC corproate law firm to wear a spread collar with

  • Yes

    Votes: 21 58.3%
  • No

    Votes: 7 19.4%
  • It depends...

    Votes: 8 22.2%

  • Total voters
    36

BigRedLaw

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I'm a third year law student about to graduate and start working at a NYC corporate law firm in August. This summer, in addition to studying for the bar exam, I thought it would be a good idea to start to put together an acceptable wardrobe. I have already purchased some shirts and I plan on buying more over the summer.

My question is, what do you guys think about a spread collar with cufflinks for everyday? The more I look at shirts the more I like the spread collar and cutaway collars and cufflinks. One of my next purchases will likely be a white RLPL Keaton with cufflinks.

Although I want all of my shirts to have spread collars, I plan on using cutaway/keaton-type collars sparingly (I just got an amazing Hilditch & Key cutaway :slayer:). And I'm not talking cutaway collars to the extremes of some UDESHI shirts but I think you get the idea.

Also, I will be gathering ties this summer (and I have some already). I am in love with Stefano Ricci, Brioni, and Bvlgari ties. I want to order a self-tipped seven fold from Sam Hober, but he hasn't gotten back to me... Please let me know if you think there is something I should think about when picking ties to be worn with a spread collar.

I really like the look of a double windsor and Keaton:

http://www.exposay.com/celebrity-photos/ryan-serhant-million-dollar-listing-new-york-1mVlJU.jpg

but the FIH and spread collar is also growing on me, too:

http://styleforum-testing.s3.amazonaws.com/4/45/45f04dc1_vbattach19413.jpg


With respect to cufflinks, it's my understanding that the best cufflinks are double-sided. Can anyone recommend a brand that I should look into?


Let me know what you guys think!
 

musicguy

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I say stay away from a super wide spread (cutaway) like in the first pic... You probably won't get a problem for wearing a double windsor knot normally, but I'm not a fan. For me, it's double FIH all the way, all the time!

If you do opt for cuff links all the time, make sure the wrists of your shirt fit. A loose cuff and cuff links look really contrived. Have you considered MTM shirts?

For me, the most important thing about wearing men's clothing is to look uncontrived and at ease. If you think you can pull it off, then by all means go for it.

I know in UK cuff links are the norm, so this is my purely US opinion.
 

comrade

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I'm a third year law student about to graduate and start working at a NYC corporate law firm in August. This summer, in addition to studying for the bar exam, I thought it would be a good idea to start to put together an acceptable wardrobe. I have already purchased some shirts and I plan on buying more over the summer.
My question is, what do you guys think about a spread collar with cufflinks for everyday? The more I look at shirts the more I like the spread collar and cutaway collars and cufflinks. One of my next purchases will likely be a white RLPL Keaton with cufflinks.
Although I want all of my shirts to have spread collars, I plan on using cutaway/keaton-type collars sparingly (I just got an amazing Hilditch & Key cutaway :slayer:). And I'm not talking cutaway collars to the extremes of some UDESHI shirts but I think you get the idea.
Also, I will be gathering ties this summer (and I have some already). I am in love with Stefano Ricci, Brioni, and Bvlgari ties. I want to order a self-tipped seven fold from Sam Hober, but he hasn't gotten back to me... Please let me know if you think there is something I should think about when picking ties to be worn with a spread collar.
I really like the look of a double windsor and Keaton:
http://www.exposay.com/celebrity-photos/ryan-serhant-million-dollar-listing-new-york-1mVlJU.jpg
but the FIH and spread collar is also growing on me, too:
http://styleforum-testing.s3.amazonaws.com/4/45/45f04dc1_vbattach19413.jpg
With respect to cufflinks, it's my understanding that the best cufflinks are double-sided. Can anyone recommend a brand that I should look into?
Let me know what you guys think!


Congratulations. I am a Big Red undergrad alum from the past century.
Some advice:

1. Hilditch and Key have a semi-annual sale in June- Big discounts. Go to their website.
Also check out SF affiliates Shop the Finest, VirtualClotheshorse,. and e Haberdasher.
All have excellent selections of fine shirts. Will probably cost more for Barba, Finamore,
Borrelli than H&K on sale. Caution: Shop the Finest only offers store credit for returned
merchandise. Also, you might wish to consider Turnbull and Asser. Their shirts are extremely well-made.

2. I own one Stefano Ricci tie. For me the line is too flashy.
My ties are more "trad" or English looking. H&K ties are very
good for the price and are "quieter"

3. Cufflinks. I only own double-sided ones. All were purchased at Antique Shops
or the Bermondsey Market in London. My guess is that you will be able to
find them at antique jewelers and around the 47th St Diamond District in NYC.
 
Last edited:

BigRedLaw

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Thanks for the advice! I actually just ordered a Borrelli shirt and can't wait to get it. I really want to get my hands on a T&A shirt but I haven't found one that I like yet. I'm also keeping my eye on Fray, Brioni and Zenga shirts.

@ musicguy. --> M2M would def be the way to go. Unfortunately, I do not currently live near any somewhat decent tailors...
 

viator

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I would not do this. You will most likely not be wearing a suit everyday, so cuff links will be out of place. The spread collar should be fine as long as it is not so spread that It looks silly without a tie. If I were you I would get one or two nice white shirts - with French cuffs if they are your preference - to wear to client meetings, events, etc. Then I would focus on barrel cuffed shirts to wear everyday sans jacket and tie. Trust me on this - or at least hold off on a buying spree until you start working and can see for yourself.
 

yls2012

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When you were at the firm over 2L summer, how did junior associates tend to dress? I would use that as a guide.

Is your firm business formal everyday? If it's not, I wouldn't wear a double-cuffed shirt, and would hesitate to wear a widespread collar shirt as well. Those tend to look odd, or at least not as good, without a jacket.

My experience has been that double-cuffed shirts are very common for NYC lawyers. Usually those shirts have a decent spread collar. Wide spread collars are rare, however. If you insist on wearing this style, which is relatively loud, I would tone everything else down: simple tie, simple suit. Even better, I would wear either a double-cuffed shirt or a wide-ish spread collar shirt, but would be more hesitant to wear them together.

Honestly, as long as your look isn't outlandish, people are unlikely to notice. Some people do dress a bit louder, but I think it's important to look as if you're serious about the job and not trying to look overly stylized. Also, I might wait to bust out the fancy stuff until you feel comfortable at the firm. Probably looks bad for first-years to wear loud clothes.
 

12345Michael54321

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There's nothing inherently wrong with wearing a spread collar and cuff links. I like them, myself. And I wear them not infrequently.

But each and every day? Why? Fundamental to the concept of dressing well, is at least a certain element of, if not creativity, at least variety.

As the famed 19th century sartorial commentator and guy whom I bet got teased constantly for his middle name, Ralph Waldo Emerson, put it, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
--
Michael
 

landshark

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I wouldn't hesitate to wear cufflinks, but I wouldn't wear such a wide spread collar.
 

TimelesStyle

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I also like cutaway collars, but think they sometimes look odd without a tie. What I would avoid if I were you are contrast collars (since they're also a bit flashy and really don't wear well sans cravat). I also prefer very plain ties when wearing them and tend to favor smaller knot (though I have little choice, a double Windsor doesn't work for someone my height; the tie ends up too short). For cufflinks, I would also go with something very subtle as a jr. associate. Smallish, vintage antique links with a chain link or snap closure (nice if you'll want to roll up in the office) and you can never go wrong with rope knots. Whatever you do, stay clear of gold IMO.

Check out Paul Stuart's Phineas Cole line of shirts:

http://www.paulstuart.com/category_template_viewall.cfm?ProdCatId=1047&subProdCatId=0&MainCatId=19&headermenuid=3

They're a bit more affordable than RLPL (and probably a bit trimmer fitting), though not as well priced as H&K.

At the end of the day, location matters, though. Outside of NYC and (maybe, big maybe) Chicago I doubt you'll find too many firms that are business formal every day. Of course if you expect to be in a lot of client meetings or have to be part of the team going to court (rare for first years, I think) then you'll need more formal attire more often.
 

chobochobo

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I would go with something a bit less in your face to begin with until you get the feel of the place. What you actually wear isn't so important as long as it isn't over-the-top - you seem to be approaching this with gusto, which is to be applauded on the one hand but may mean that you over egg things on the other.
 

dapperj

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Thanks for the tip, I had actually never heard of Paul Stuart. Can you share some links/photos about the kind of cufflinks you're talking about? I don't think I have seen chain links or snap enclosures. Also with rope knots are you referring to silk knots or knots made of silver such as the cufflinks below?

 

musicguy

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Google image search double sided cufflinks. The two styles are with a chain or curved with the same thing on both sides.

I use a pair of double sided mother of pearl cufflinks I bought years ago from a SFer here when I wear french cuffs (now exclusivlely with my tuxedo). They look classy, simple and unobtrusive. They were also really inexpensive. My other pair are initial cufflinks from my grandfather. We have the same initials and he bought them years ago.
 

TimelesStyle

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These are chain link cufflinks:

https://www.google.com/#q=chain+link+cufflinks&hl=en&prmd=imvns&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=WpqoT8ScMquPigLf4MHpAg&ved=0CNcBEK0E&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=fb4a907bedc68f87&biw=1440&bih=797

These are snaps:

https://www.google.com/#hl=en&tbm=shop&sclient=psy-ab&q=snap+cufflinks&oq=snap+cufflinks&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&gs_l=serp.3..0.31092.32054.2.32339.6.6.0.0.0.3.215.1072.0j5j1.6.0...0.0.OSd-d1MiO-8&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=fb4a907bedc68f87&biw=1440&bih=797

I prefer vintage varieties for either of these, but particularly on the snaps.

And when I said knots, I was referring to silk knots simply because of how many more varieties there are in terms of color. They're also very subtle, which can be good in that you can wear your double cuff shirts whenever, but don't have to worry about looking over the top on more casual days (or if you find yourself in a meeting with the uber-senior partner who only believes in ordering clothes from Jos. A Bank, which happens).
 

dapperj

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Well I definitely don't want to stand out... As a summer associate, I notice a variety of different styles and levels of formality. Some people were "known" to be more fashionable than others... I definitely understand a first year associate walking in with a Brioni suit, RLPL shirt, Stefano Ricci tie, and Ferragamo open laced oxfords might be a little much...
So I think barrel cuffs might be the way to go without suit and cuff links okay with suit. On the other hand, I think most people wouldn't know what they were looking at... And those who did, wouldn't see it as a bad thing... Either way, I still think straight point collars look terrible...
 

dapperj

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Thanks for the links. I am going to order some silk knot cuff links and look into the others. Do you think silk cuff links is casual enough to wear without a jacket?
 

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